Friday, 30 November 2012

Existential risk

The Greek and Roman gods have run out on us
leaving Makemake of the birdman cult,
only slightly dimmer than its sibling, Pluto,
and lacking – so far – in atmosphere.

Will our focus on things distant
miss the looming Pandora’s box
of  artificial intelligence?

Its very white ice is methane-filled
but at this greatest distance from the sun,
so far, it’s still frozen;

while behind telescopes, robots are escaping our control
pressing buttons, writing programmes,
deciding who lives and dies on the battlefield.

Perhaps Makemake, god of fertility
will shift axis, organics, seed the dark terrain,
create birdmen in the outer solar system,

while on earth, all that will remain
of the culled human herd, carved petroglyphs,
buried beneath bones and monuments.

© Afric McGlinchey

Distant Dwarf Planet Secrets Revealed

A Hennessy Poetry winner and Pushcart nominee, Afric McGlinchey’s début collection, The lucky star of hidden things,  was published in 2012 by Salmon.  Afric lives in West Cork.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

England, My England

Grew up a child of the Welfare State,
got my free school milk
and had plenty to eat;
had the doctor come calling
with his black bag and hat;
had him sit by my bed
and thought nothing of that.

Didn't know back then
just how far we had come
since they handed out votes
in exchange for our guns;
didn't know how my grandma
blacked grates and scrubbed floors,
with half a day off one Sunday in four;
or how my old grandad,
a boy of fourteen,
survived the Great War
to be packed off again
to fight for his country,
to keep Britain free;
or how, in the end,
he was fighting for me.

I never suspected
when I went to school
how lucky I was
to be going at all;
or how much depended
on me being bright.
'Just do your best,'
was what they said,
'and everything will turn out - alright'.
But, on the day,
I knew they'd lied
and I was sick with fright.

Grew up a child of the Welfare State;
have to admit that it's true:
I did have the world on
a paper plate;
the family silver still belonged to you.
I had my eye-sight tested, yes;
and my teeth were drilled and filled;
the nit-nurse came to check my hair,
and not one drop of my blood was spilled.

I didn't scrub; I didn't fight;
and it's true I didn't die;
but I did take and cherish
the dreams they dreamed,
believing I understood why -
why  they scrubbed and scraped and bowed,
and why they fought, and why they died;
but now they are dead and so are their dreams.
Someone somewhere lied.

© Abigail Wyatt

Beveridge report: From 'deserving poor' to 'scroungers'?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Fell fast asleep at noon

Now there is a melancholy,
now there is a chill,
now some addled trip reveals
teacher took our babies years,
returned a wasted task.

So many preying letters writ, and sweet,
and more to come.
Was with some kind of geisha girl.
Couch is not so soft and.
someone stole our wallets.

Redressed the chosen few.
Washing cycles to its end,
wakes us to hang out.
This silence is resounding, pounding.
Grab the tumbling can but find

last drop flat and tastes old sweat.
Fridge looms into view.
Forehead rests on freezing things.
Hello mister always can,
and mister never could.

And age made work superfluous.
Now what a useless word.
A curious collision scythed
through a humbled mind,
saw a cruet in the thin hands of a boy. 

his house is creaking cold and old and
floorboards smell and creak.
Oil has work to do.
Teacher took our babies years
and um de dum de dee.

Three pm on Monday, they have will to run
and run and  bless them on their way.
And we would do that too if we had will.
Hid. Safe. Spouse has life beyond us,
is soothing mental friend

whose partner, they said, leaped (hunting sanity once craved).
He licked his cracking lips.
She checked his pulse and hips.
Cat has fireside bed,
puss puss.

Decades slipped away when asses
bray was eight miles loud
a cross two thousand years.
Teacher took our children,
left back a mighty task.

A mirror in the hallway
is the  stranger who resides here.
Hello mister always can,
and mister never could.
How are you our brother, sister, how are you, yourself.

Washing cycles to its end.
This silence is  resounding, pounding.
Could we begin again.

© Noel Loftus

Brian Cowen’s former running mate avoids jail for stealing €18,000

Author's note:  'This is a ... rant at the increasing disconnect in Irish society.'

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

No Country For Old Men

This man won medals for bravery
Served in a world war
Mourned for his dead comrades but never
Complained about it
Came home, collected his demob suit
Walked away whistling
Determined to make the best of it

This other man lost a limb, didn’t care
That you would notice
Completed his education then
Went on to hack it
Never asked for sympathy or help
Didn’t get any
Didn’t expect to, bore no grudges

And this man succeeded in business
Raised a family
Never dwelling on what happened
Then in the home
He sat waiting for his turn to come
Wondering only why
He had been chosen to live so long.

© David Subacchi

 No country for old men

Monday, 26 November 2012

A Boy’s Life in Gaza

My life is not supposed to be like this.
The air strike
lights up the night sky as bright as day.

Mother puts my head in her lap,
I feel her stroking my hair.
Pain rises in waves,
crashing into me.
My eyes, unable to focus,
my hearing capable only
of taking rhythm and cadence.
Slowly words begin to take
on discrete sounds,
then come meaning
and comprehension.
Mother tells me
I will be saved.

When a person dies, the people cry.
I can see mother crying.
Dream fragments
float past behind my eyes.
Life hasn’t been fair to me.

© Amy Barry

Israeli aircraft strike crowded Gaza areas, civilian death toll climbs 

Amy Barry has worked in the media industry as a Public Relations officer. Her poems have been published in Ireland and abroad. She lives in Athlone, Ireland.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday Supplement

It's been quite a week here at the mythical Poetry24 Towers. We have had many extraordinary, and heart-warming responses to last Sunday's announcement that we finish next month unless new editors take it up. Thanks once again for all your kind comments. We are exploring a couple of promising offers and should have news soon of developments.

We also received a poem from Anthony Baverstock - " will probably be the worst poem (well... ‘pseudo-poem’) ever seen on the site!" - he promises. We have published it below for your delectation, along with his excuses explanation.

But first, a quick review of this week's poems: As Poetry24 reached a turning point of its own, John Saunders reminded us in his jaunty The Bend in the Road to 'watch out for the hedgehog, rabbit and toad.' Something to bear in mind, especially when Kay Weeks suggests Eating Invasives for Thanksgiving dinner.

Care, and the lack of it, has been a theme running through the week, too, from Maureen Weldon's beautifully spare Where from? on failures in the treatment of schizophrenics to David Mellor's No 53 which questions how sympathetic we actually are when political decisions affect our neighbours. Two poems about Savita - Amy Barry's All for Nothing and Niamh Hill's The Other Side highlighted both sides of an emotive debate with a pair of powerful and very human poems relating to an Indian woman's death in Northern Ireland after being refused an abortion.

Meanwhile, a young man planning to cross the Atlantic with the aid of toy balloons inspired UP-- UP and Away! from the mysterious Pippa Sherman. Let's hope we don't vanish off into the sunset on a raft of hot air - please keep your poems coming during this time of transition... reports of our death (below) may be a little premature.

All the best, Clare

in memoriam, Poetry 24(with apologies to E. J. Thribb, aged 17½)

So. Farewell
Poetry 24.

‘Where News is the Muse’ –
That was your slogan.
And we were a-
Though sometimes be-
Like when you didn’t publish my excellent
About a sheep.
And by some of the clever poems.

Now you are the news.
Ironic, that.
I hope they have chip shops in cyber-heaven.
Time to call it a wrap.

© Anthony Baverstock

Author's note: 
Regular readers of the satirical magazine Private Eye at all will immediately recognize this as a eulogy in the style of E. J. Thribb (17½), as did the anonymous commenter who was inspired to write her/ his own Thribb-style lines.

In case you’re not a Private Eye reader, E. J. Thribb’s eulogies by-and-large have the following pattern:
1) A formulaic opening: ‘So. Farewell Then XXXX’.
2) The deceased person’s catchphrase + a line like ‘That was your catchphrase’.
3) Some biographical trivia.
4) A closing remark on the person’s passing which contains a pun (sometimes drawing on a word in the catchphrase).

Thribb also has a penchant for capitalising the first letter of every line and writes in ‘free verse’ of no discernible merit.

E. J. Thribb’s ‘form’ is, of course, intentionally appalling, and it is from this that its humour in part extends.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

No 53

If someone
Dies today..

Under some cloud
Or buried
Under a mountain of debt

Poked and prodded
For some signs of life
In a decayed corpse

Locked in
a house
for 2 years

Don’t say

I’ve been there

Or say

I gave a concerned look

because only the bailiffs called

and wanted to see the woman
behind the door

© David Mellor

Spanish Woman Commits Suicide As Foreclosure Agents Enter Home, Prime Minister Halts Evictions

EU budget talks collapse over €30bn gap

Liverpool-born David Mellor left school with nothing, had various dead end jobs, then back to college and uni . Started writing and performing in his 20's and has done so ever since .

Friday, 23 November 2012

Two poems about Savita

All for nothing           

Laid out
in a red wedding sari,
her life frittered away as easily
 as scattered dust.

Weeping like a child,
he whispers
her name over
     and over again.

How do we justify this?

© Amy Barry

Savita laid out in wedding sari

Amy Barry has worked in the media industry as a Public Relations officer. Her poems have been published in Ireland and abroad. She lives in Athlone, Ireland.

The other side

A victim of our throwaway society
no voice to protest
no means to fight
a collection of cells
that is a part of you and me.

Who gives me the power to
because the time is not right?

I cut it out as I would
a tumour
discard it like a used napkin
stained and besmirched

the only malignancy it
carries is a threat
to bring out the best,

or the worst

 in us.

© Niamh Hill

Savita death leads to call for clearer NI abortion law

Niamh Hill is a former accountant and primary school teacher on a career break, indulging in yoga, reading and writing. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Eating Invasives

Have you ever thought
of helping the planet
by eating the enemy--
and savoring each bite?

Now, this is not an ought,
and you may not think it right,
whatever, but an honest
indictment of our eating our friends!
I, for one, agree.

Bend your mind,
and slip that snail in head first,
then move to wild boar,
(No stink bugs on the menu!),
and disregard the idea
of the prickly spears that
guard the lion fish from predators—
the white meat tastes like
“Oh! Please don’t say chicken!”

I’m lickin’ my chops over
this menu of soft shell crabs
(unless the water is polluted),
then leaping, like a frog,
into the “legs,” and
lying down after that meal,
and feeling both full
and sanctimonious!

Considering Vegetarianism--
but after Thanksgiving.

© Kay Weeks

Extreme Meat: 5 Invasive Species You Can Eat

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

UP-- UP and Away!

Like Tom Hanks in the film called BIG
I'm just a young kid in disguise,
Playing ...planning to do things I want
which I couldn't do otherwise.

Go see my creation on YouTube;
So exciting ! The idea's from UP.
My dream is to be the first man,
but to get there you need to cough up.

The balloons are all pretty colours
like my room so pretty and bright,
the carpet is blue like the ocean,
with a moon on the wall shining bright.

I will hide my teddy from cameras
and my nappy I think I can change.
My dummy sits under my blankie,
when not filming, I'll then rearrange.

Do not fear I know I will make it,
my backup's a bubble machine,
and Superman will come and save me,
and whisk me to the local latrine.

© Pippa Sherman

A cluster-balloonist is attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean using 365 helium balloons

Pippa lives in the UK and has been published in a number of anthologies and loves to write in different styles.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Where from?

It is very dark, just a speck of grit
in the corner of your eye.

Sometimes you see angels,
they dazzle, have stars

in their hair
and you are feather light.

Where, where does this darkness live?
What damage was done?

But when you laugh
I want to juggle with stars.

© Maureen Weldon

Catastrophic failings in schizophrenia care revealed

Maureen Weldon, Was a professional ballet dancer, she now writes poetry, it is not a hobby the work is too hard.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Bend in the Road

Watch out hedgehog,rabbit and toad,
look right then left at the kerb
before you cross at the bend in the road.

Car and vans, lorries with loads
drive up and down every day- they disturb.
Watch out hedgehog, rabbit and toad.

And drivers too please heed the safe drive code,
find that manual and read the blurb,
before you drive around the bend in the road.

In the morning when you leave you're abode,
if you're late do not be perturbed,
watch out for hedgehogs, rabbits and toads.

At twilight the seeds of accidents are sowed,
the driver's vision is often blurred,
be extra careful at the bend in the road.

For all sorts of traffic the research showed
where accidents are most likely to have occurred.
Watch out hedgehog, rabbit and toad
before you cross at the bend in the road.

© John Saunders

Roads authority to fix 50 worst bends

Sunday, 18 November 2012


This week has been full of poems that were the opposite of what they first seemed, providing ripples of light and darkness: Last Tree Standing by Nicollette Foreman, was more about all those British ash trees about to fall. In Like Carrion Crows, Maureen Weldon referred to the (now) dead who picked on the living. A different side of the same news was Abigail Wyatt's The Comedy of High Places - not really a comedy at all. More ripples in Amy Barry's  Shadows on the Irish Sea which stretched from the other side of the world: a sense of being marooned, / so thick, it clotted, / choked his breathing. Darkest of all, Wendy Nicholson's Light up the lamps as the violence that has plagued Israel and Palestine for decades erupts again, with innocent lives lost on both sides:  so comes the dark and pain / to all again – and yet again / with no one spared. Even the humour was dark - with Philip Challinor pitched in with Political Police on the election where nobody bothered to vote.

On that cheery note, so to our announcement. First, this from Martin:

"As from this week, my editorial involvement at Poetry24 will come to an end, although I will continue to help maintain its Facebook presence for a while. I've taken this difficult decision so that I can free up some time and space, allowing me to explore and develop my own writing. 

So, a few words of heartfelt thanks. Firstly to Clare, for her huge contribution in helping to develop Poetry24. Without her insight and talent, I doubt whether we would have made it this far. Secondly, thanks to you, for your continued support and, of course, your quality poems.

Best wishes to everyone, and thanks again!


And this from Clare: 

"I will always be grateful to Martin for inviting me to share this project and am proud to have been a part of it. This hasn't been an easy decision for either of us, but I, too, have other ambitions and commitments and feel my time at Poetry24 has also run its course. 

Thanks to Martin's vision and the support of so many fantastic poets from around the world, I think that together we've all created something unique. Thank you all for being part of that.


Is this the end of Poetry24?  Not necessarily. We are happy to see Poetry24 continue with new editor(s) at the helm. If anyone out there would like to make this their project we would be happy to hear expressions of interest, answer questions and share our experience, so please get in touch if you're interested:  

With this in mind, we plan to make it to (nearly) the end of the year, with submissions still accepted up to 14th December.

Have a great week

Clare and Martin

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Political Police

These common voters! Really, what's the use
Of letting them elect some senior cops?
The turnout's limp, and so the mandate flops,
And turns poor Dave that nasty shade of puce.

Upon their head be it, next time the boot
Must be applied to gipsy or to darky;
Or some untasered terrorist malarkey
Impels the Met to start a turkey shoot.

They do not do their duty at the polls,
That gracious gift of democratic Dave
To brighten Britain's economic grave:
Democracy is wasted on the proles

© Philip Challinor

None of the above: electorate spurns David Cameron's police polls

My Weblog:
My Books:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Light up the lamps

Light up the lamps
to shine and pierce the dark
they cannot lift or light a spark
of life in all the dead

that have been lost
in Gaza and in Israel
here truly stand the Gates of Hell
where violence rules and tears are shed

all is despair yet still
the war goes on, the missiles fall
and no one heeds the call
for peace, revenge instead

speeds rockets in reply
so comes the dark and pain
to all again – and yet again
with no one spared.

© Wendy Nicholson

Three Israelis killed by Gaza rocket as violence escalates

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Comedy of High Places

The King is dead. Long live the King!
While trumpets sound and choirs sing,
another sovereign topples down,
the gloss worn from his royal crown;
and all his minions hold their breath
in fear that they may topple next;
and wonder just how much they know
and who will stay and who will go;
and, if they go, who’ll take their place
to profit from this royal disgrace.
Long live the King. The King is dead,
the crown has tumbled from his head;
yet, while his courtiers gnash and moan,
another monarch mounts the throne.

© Abigail Wyatt

Lord Patten: trust in BBC needs to be restored - video

Abigail lives in Redruth in Cornwall where she writes poetry and short fiction and does her best to remain positive.  Her new blog is: She can also be found on Facebook.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Shadows on the Irish Sea

Pain gathered in his chest,
a sense of being marooned,
so thick, it clotted,
choked his breathing.

His wife, lying
in some unmarked grave,
he wished he was invisible,
had evaporated into green-silk,
and misty air.

Sun set in sharp autumn chill,
black shadows, quavered,
her image
on a rippling sea.

© Amy Barry

Man charged over Jill Meagher case

Amy Barry has worked in the media industry as a Public Relations officer. Her poems have been published in Ireland and abroad. She lives in Athlone, Ireland.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Like Carrion Crows

Listen to the ripple.
Deep in the lake
a stone was dropped.

That night the child cried
no one was listening.

years later
horror and sorrow.

While the carrion crows
flew - - free.

© Maureen Weldon

BBC must face public inquiry over Savile

Maureen Weldon is published in poetry magazines, journals and on-line.  'Sons of Camus International Journal' 2011 published 25 of her poems winning her an award. Her sixth poetry book will be published in 2013.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Last Tree Standing

Since the warm winds
I will no longer sit amongst bluebells,
or feel the gentle touch of
a hairstreaks wing
bathing on my arm in the sun
  ... I stand alone.

Since the winds                            
I will no longer see snowflakes drift,
hear laughter as children play,
running beneath me
in the winter chill

 In this autumn wind
tree spirits linger
watching old friends die
while the urgent call of  nuthatches echo
lost in the sound of chainsaws
I hear them call
         I see them fly...
                     As I turn to stone.

© Nicollette Foreman

Ash dieback summit brings tree experts together 

Runner up in the Ninth International Poetry Competition, published in Dawn Treader; Sentinel Poetry Movement , First Writer, and further anthologies Nicollette loves a challenge and enjoys writing in different styles.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday Review

Lost things dominated Poetry24 this week

In BABS, Welsh poet David Subacchi mused on a lost opportunity having missed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view a historic vehicle. 'But I forgot' he chides himself repeatedly... it's your age David! ;-)  Another historical reference this week was a Coded Message  from wartime Bletchley Park found on the skeleton of a pigeon, lost in action. Marilyn Brindley's rondeau considered the aborted journey and lost words on 'A folded scrap, a paper shred'.

In Compliance vs Education P. Sherman's message was that UK schools have lost their way under pressure to meet targets. Sadly some youngsters don't get to find out: Sue Morgan's Grimm Household Tales conjures up a dark carousel of' 'false magic – / that muddle of dust / and clutter-book mystery' to link the loss of Northern Ireland tot Millie Martin and missing Welsh five-year-old April Jones.

Afric McGlinchey's A short-lived tyranny was another chilling tale - this time of 'pretties' in Thailand going under the knife to achieve perfect looks - some are lucky enough just to have lost excess fat or 'undesirable features', others lose their lives.

But men are 'suffering' too:  the thrust of John (or should that be 'Johnny'?) Saunders' playful It’s a Wrap was that porn actors in Los Angeles County are now required to use condoms. A degree of sensation lost, but a new responsibility gained perhaps?
What will we find in our new inbox this week? Keep your best topical poems coming this way! (and if you use Duotrope writers free database - which we heartily recommend - don't forget to log your submissions to Poetry24).

Have a good week

Clare (& Martin)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

It’s a Wrap

What a day. Just finished the threesome
we started yesterday and the director says
I have to work under cover,
something I’ve never done before.
I mean it’s hard to change.
He says “action” and I have to fumble
with the wrapper. My performance sucked.
I can’t get into the swing
and I messed up the money shot.
I mean honey there's no feeling,
I have to feel something or else I can’t act.
Suzie did her best, but even she says
it’s strange. She thinks she’s allergic to them.
I cannot do a decent day's work.
I think I need a beer and a cuddle in front
of the TV tonight honey. What do you say?
Can you fetch me a hotdog? Yeah,
unwrap it for me. Thanks.

© John Saunders

Ensuring condom use on porn sets called challenging

John Saunders’ first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. John is featured in  Measuring,  Dedalus New Writers (Dedalus Press, 2012). His second collection ‘Chance’ is to be published shortly.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Grimm Household Tales

The Dijon carousel turns
and turns again,
to spin its enchanted web.
Music from a squeezebox age.

Pied-piper’s pipes lift and lead astray.
Even the dogs grow glassy-eyed.
For Mansard eyebrows twitch at false magic –
that muddle of dust

and clutter-book mystery.
Children bake like milk-fed loaves,
lewd circles burn young flesh,
chaste little backs break.

And April?
April disappears like a black cat in the night.

© Sue Morgan

Millie Martin murder: Trial told baby died from head injury  Update: Case ends  8 Nov
Parents of missing five-year-old  remain convinced their daughter is still alive

Sue Morgan  lives in Northern Ireland. Some of the places you can find her recent work are:   Every Day Poets, the New Poet, the Southword Literary Journal and CrannogMagazine.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Compliance vs Education

So how are you meant to decide
what a 'good school' or bad school is?
Reports, exams, do you trust them?
Or believe what the summary says.

"We pride ourselves on our good marks,
our Ofsted reports, they're the best!
Great teaching-no bullies-remarkable meals,
our school always passes the test."

Now I have a friend in Ofqual,
they know the schools' tricks of the trade.
Marking, assessments, that sort of thing
to ensure they all get the best grade.

Assessments given back to the students,
to edit the project just done,
a tweak here a tweak there, "That's better."
Each pupil they check one by one.

So advice to employers today;
on interviews just go by your gut,
you'll know when there is a good prospect
for 'The System' needs a kick- up -the -butt.

©  P. Sherman

GCSE row: Teacher accuses Ofqual of 'covering tracks'

Sherman lives in the UK and has been published in a number of anthologies and loves to write in different styles and  genres,  due to this has started to write under different names according to style. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Coded Message

A coded message never read,
Attached to pigeon, long since dead,
Which rested in its weary flight,
Revealed at last, exposed to light,
A folded scrap, a paper shred.

The secret words could not be said,
Their import far too great, instead
A cypher expert had to write,
The coded message.

Top secret words in code embed,
And seal them in a capsule red,
Then send them flying through the night.
With Bletchley Park within its sight,
Fate took a hand and left unread
     The coded message.

© Marilyn Brindley

Quest to crack secrets of lost D-Day pigeon

Marilyn is a retired primary school head teacher, who now has the time to indulge in the writing and reading the works of other creative individuals. She blogs at

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A short-lived tyranny

Last week she was a pop up girl,
pouting prettily by a brand new car;
next week she might be tossing seaweed in a wok
for customers who idle by the counter, staring at the pretty
in the poster behind her.

The big chill
of realization, swarming tremors,
as she hands over their wrapped takeaway,
fast food, like fast beauty,
gobbled right before her eyes.

The once-pretty won’t be able to say
how she recognised the moment
– perhaps it’ll be a quivering eyelid,
where once there was covetous attention –
that shudders her through the thin door to silicon.

Fat sucked and re-injected
in the nick of time, she thinks,
needle threading her skin, erasing flaws,
stalling fine lines that may be
blurring her future.

The man with a scalpel in his hand is god.
Pretties face their new Dorian Grey illusions,
poised beside each other in a startling symmetry;
this engineered beauty necessary, they are told,
for wealth and sexual power, recognition.

But there’s a risk in seeking
cosmetic artifice, believing the promises
of counterfeit consultants; the danger
of the arrow that may pierce mistakenly,
prematurely, call time.

© Afric McGlinchey

The cost of being 'pretty' in Thailand

Afric McGlinchey won the prestigious Hennessy Poetry Award (2011). Her début collection,
The lucky star of hidden things, was published in 2012 by Salmon Poetry

Monday, 5 November 2012


They brought you home
Just for a day
Outside the museum
Near where I work
Four great wheels
Shining white body
Not like the day
On the Pembrokeshire sands
When you rolled
Coming to rest upright
Facing the sea
Your driver a Wrexham man
Already dead at the wheel

They had to break some bones
To free the lifeless body
Before the flames took hold
Then there at Pendine
They dug a great hole
Burying you for 40 years
Until an enthusiast
Dug you up
Hour after hour
Of loving labour
To restore your former glory
So then they brought you home
Just for a day

And I forgot
Gazing at my computer
Struggling with statistics
Fretting about the misery
That is work today
I forgot
Time was I would have been first
To welcome you
With camera flashing
But I forgot

Just yards away
From where my
Grimy Vauxhall was parked
I forgot
Was it age or madness
Distraction or stupidity
This morning back at my desk
Waiting for the day to boot up
A stick-it reminder note
Falls from off the screen
I crumple it angrily
Flinging it into the bin
Written down one word only

© David Subacchi

Car that broke land speed record comes to Wrexham museum

David Subacchi’s first English language collection ‘First Cut’ was published by Cestrian Press earlier this year.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday Review

It's been a week when our minds have been filled with thoughts of others. Fran Hill kicked things off with a poem to mark the 80th birthday of Sylvia Plath. My mother read Plath is not only darkly toned, it also successfully highlights the way we can become fascinated with tragic figures, sometimes to point of obsession.

Michael Ray pointed us towards a different kind of preoccupation. In Bewabs and Mozzas, we learnt about the role of the Bewab, a common sight sitting at the front of almost every building in Cairo, the enforcer of social mores.

Then came the 'Super-storm Sandy', making landfall along the eastern seaboard of America. And, after the weather had wreaked havoc, Mark Kerstetter bent his mind to Naming the Hurricane. Three days later, Sinead Cotter had written about the Funfair Washed Out To Sea In Hurricane Sandy, a reflective piece on the "fading memories of those who rode the rollercoaster’s dips and curves on summer nights," and "where all is silenced now in the icy suck and surge."

Back on this side of the Atlantic, Philip Challinor took a satirical sideswipe at the prospect of those hospitals that are struggling to balance the books and, consequently facing privatisation, with Safe In His Hands.

NHS is not the only familiar sequence of three letters, currently under threat. In Hamsters do the conga, Noel Loftus reminded us that the BBC is also suffering at the moment, as the organisation finds itself dealing with increasing numbers of allegations made against various individuals associated with the late Jimmy Savile.

Well, that about sums it up for now. But I'll just give you another nudge to note our new email address, in parting. If you're submitting (and we sincerely hope you are) send your poems to us at

Have a good week ahead.

Martin (and Clare)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Funfair Washed Out To Sea In Hurricane Sandy

They’re swimming with the fishes now,
the fading memories of those who rode
the rollercoaster’s dips and curves
on summer nights: 
the centrifugal swerves,
the terror, screams and laughter,
tangled views
of faces, earth and sky,
and out beyond the lights,
the ocean,

where all is silenced now
in the icy suck and surge
of waves breaking
through the metal frame
sprawled sideways on a ruined shore.

There are many things that matter more,
but as they sweep the brown tide
from their homes,
do those who count their losses
feel a special pang
for funfair rides and neon nights,
for innocence and youth?
For when the great colossus
mocked their fear,
their half-screamed reassurances
before their fears began:
‘Of course it’s safe, you wuss,
relax!  It would take
a hurricane to knock this down.’

© Sinead Cotter

Super storm Sandy: Aerial footage shows devastation

Sinead lives in Dublin and has had work published in the Sunday Tribune and the Irish Independent. She's currently working on her first poetry collection.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hamsters do the conga!

Hamsters do the conga!
Now there’s a dish served cold.
And though, day one, it wasn’t  true,
Let’s watch what will unfold.

Some glitter’s growing gold.
And some develop ticks.
Some are passing parcels.
And some are passing bricks.

Whistle if you will
My cloudy, rustic hick.
The bag has freed the cat too late
For Him to ever fix.

Tabloids, for their kicks,
Spit headlines uncontrolled.
But when the house just can not fall-
Rectitude untold.

© Noel Loftus

Freddie Starr arrested in Jimmy Savile abuse inquiry

Noel Loftus is a fellow member of ward9writers from Mayo in the west of Ireland. In his forties, he is married, with two children, and currently works as a buyer for a safety supplies company.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Safe In His Hands

This patient here is far from spry;
He's overdosed on PFI.
His system took an awful kick
From excess treatment of the sick.

He's sixty-four with dreadful pain?
I'll just relieve him of his brain.
He'll be much happier, you'll see,
Without it. Well, just look at me.

And, since we're in improving mood,
Let's do an extra bit of good!
The patient has a minor cough?
Let's carve him up and sell him off!

He's suffered terrible reverses
From excess payment of his nurses.
The rot's gone to his very guts,
And must be cured with deeper cuts.

It seems he's haemorrhaging cash:
My surgeon's skills I'll up and flash!
We don't need doctors here, you know -
My chainsaw and my buckets, ho!

Hunt's patent snake-oil treatment will
Most likely cure, or maybe kill -
Dear public, why this foolish fear?
Do you not see there's profit here?

You surely cannot still believe
That I'm the sort who would deceive?
I'd never privatise by stealth -
I'm NewsCorp's Minister of Health!

© Philip Challinor

Two hospitals could be privatised at struggling South London NHS trust

Weblog: The Curmudgeon - You'll come for the curses. You'll stay for the mudgeonry.
Books: Philip Challinor's Books